There are times when humans think that since they are top of the intellectual scale, they should do something to make the rest of the species on the scale feel a little more relevant. Like dogs for example. People do this all the time. Humans have been known do it to humans. When a certain Tamil Nadu politician drives through the street without his escort and thinks to himself, “I have mingled” – same thing.
I decided to embark on such trans-species adventure. I looked at my shelf at home and I saw corn flakes, oats and orange milk. It was a problem of plenty. What was ‘left’ of my intellectual mind processed all this information and spit out an answer – “Poori Bhaji“.
The not-so intellectual but often ‘right’ half of my brain tried to remind it that –
a. There was no Poori Bhaji in the house
b. It was 4.5 km walk or a 10 Dirhams taxi ride (around Rs. 118) to the nearest Indian restaurant
c. It was 45 degrees outside .. in the shade
But when you’re looking to intellectually mingle with the rest of your species, facts this those make as much sense to you as wearing pink shoes to the office would.
The walk to the restaurant wasn’t bad. I stuck to the shade most of the time and kept reminding myself that the effort was worth it. I reached the restaurant and it was deserted. Someone popped his head out and I asked for a Poori Bhaji. It came. Tasted really good. Made me think about shooting the not-so-intellectual side of my head.
The walk back .. aah .. the walk back
At first, I thought there had been too much salt in my bhaji. A little later, it dawned on me where the taste was coming from. I tried to keep myself amused by thinking, if I were ever asked “How much salt does your sweat contain” on the ‘Are you smarter than a fifth grader’ show, I’d probably be the only one to have the right answer.
I managed to walk and realized that my steps were becoming shorter and shorter. My lips had gone dry and since the only talking I was doing was inside my head, they were glued shut. I could feel my skin radiating heat every which way. I looked at my clothes and realized that wearing black and black was probably my way of looking at the sun and saying Na..na..na..naaa.naaa. I was taking the heat for it. My arms felt like someone had poured petrol on them and had lit a blow torch. Yet, when I touched my skin, it appeared surprisingly cold. I was losing water from the pores of my skin. Was I going to dehydrate? Things around me started matching the color of those daffodils that people would keep on your grave. Somehow, I didn’t see that as a very good sign.
Somewhere, inside me I could imagine my heart cracking a whip on all the organs
“Arrrgh! Avast Tummy. Burn the food fast yoer blob.. Arrrgh” Katiiiiiissssshhh <whip crack>
“Long John Skinny. Hold it in matey. Keep ’em porthole closed up for one effing moment.” Katiiiiiissssshhh
“Intestine Sr. and Jr. what the hell is you mates upto? Move it. Tha’s more coming your way … Arrrgh” Katiiiiiissssshhh
“What was that Intenstine Sr., yer want me to whip yous again? Arrgh .. you perv …Yer full of shit!”
About this time, I was avoiding the shades. I wanted to see how far I could take it. I was walking on sand now. Sand’s cleverer than me, because it wore yellow-brown and that reflected heat to me if I looked down. My head handed me a pop-up message – “With global warming coming up, this part of your life is called – Preparation”. I wanted to laugh, but I couldn’t get my lips to open.
Step after step, I pushed on. It was like my attempt to mingle with less intellectual speices of this planet had changed into a Son Vs. Sun battle and I was not winning any immunity points.
I stuggled and wondered what people in a desert would do. I imagined that they would see an oasis. I looked around. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I tried opening them wider. It hurt. I told myself – Right, left, right, left. The sight of it was enchanting. I reached it. It was real. I hugged it. Pushed a coin in. Diet Coke. Rumbling. Coke. Open. Bliss.
You may ask .. Diet Coke? Really? I usually don’t give people a chance to call me a hypocrite. I go on and prove it myself.
I was near my house. As I neared it, there was a movement from under a car. Two dogs stepped out. They regarded me with me solemn eyes. I stared back and didn’t flinch. One of them looked at me, bent his head and said “Woof”. The other dog didn’t have to translate. I knew what he meant.
“Welcome back, Bro!”
I smiled. They smiled too as they proceeded to water the tyres of car.
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